A documentary that is like the music of the band it focuses on, Earth: slow, poetic and immersive, eschewing the traditional music documentary structure in favour of an atmospheric exploration. The world’s slowest metal band, led by Dylan Carlson, reveals itself through the testimonies of a painful past — heroin use and a connection to Kurt Cobain’s death, a ghost that haunts the enterity of the film — becoming something if not triumphant, at least sublime.
Dylan Carlson is a major name on the Seattle landscape, having founded Earth in 1989, a name stolen from Black Sabbath before they were Black Sabbath, of whom he was an avowed fan. A respected cult figure, Carlson doesn’t like labels, he says he just makes music, but he accepts being referred to as the founder of drone, or drone metal, or drone doom… Earth are primarily a cult band, a source of inspiration, e.g. from Sunn O)))), open to less predictable collaborations such as with Kevin “The Bug” Martin. Clyde Petersen marries the aesthetic of the film with the aesthetic of the band, whose latest album is the original soundtrack for this film, and manages to capture their essence perfectly. It’s a great story, which feels almost like a B-side to the story we all know of the Seattle of times gone by. A Seattle where Kurt Cobain couldn’t be missing, with whom Dylan Carlson shared a house and of whom he was a great friend and who is the great ghost of this film. (Carlos Ramos)